The idea of the “smart city” has rapidly been gaining steam throughout Asia, and now a new city will prepare itself to become the newest to embrace this innovation. That news comes on August 14 as it was announced that Singapore startup company Limestone Network will be building a new smart city in the capital of Cambodia.
The 100-hectare land development area in the capital city of Phnom Penh will include residential properties as well as offices, schools, a retail center, and even a large scale exhibition hall. In all, it is expected that 10,000 business tenants and as many as 190,000 people will live in the multiuse area.
The main focus of this project will be a blockchain-powered identification system. This will create a digital passport that will be used by residents as well as commuters using the Limestone mobile application. Users will undergo a background check before being issued a passport. This passport will then grant them access into a digital wallet that will be accessed through their mobile device. It will also give them the ability to enter specific buildings only authorized entry through the use of the passport.
The same process will be used for all persons looking to gain access to the community. This will include children attending schools as well as men and women who will be working within the area.
The purpose of this new project is to introduce to this particular group of citizens of Cambodia what life will look like in the future. This initial test area will give residents and employees a look at what Cambodia hopes to achieve, as there are plans to expand already.
Emir Hrnjic, the senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore Business School, explained it this way, “The future of blockchain-enabled smart cities would likely be something in between an ideal society, where everyone has control over their lives and environment, and a dystopian society of a few controlling the masses.”
The project is expected to be completed by the early part of 2022. Limestone has made it clear that they intend to expand to similar projects across the globe over the next five years.
Phnom Penh joins Seoul, South Korea, which has invested $108 million in a similar project to create a smart city within the South Korean capital. This new plan will not only set aside an area of Seoul for smart technology development, but will also be used to upgrade such things as voting, welfare systems, and certification and license issuance.
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